RJ Cyler has become the guy you see in movies and think, “that’s where I’ve seen him”. The young actor burst onto the scene with an understated and pivotal role in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Since then, he’s enjoyed screen time in Vice Principals, War Machine, and was part of the ensemble cast in Power Rangers (he was the Blue Ranger). And it appears he’ll be part of a controversial ensemble in his next film. Per Deadline:
Lionsgate is moving quickly on The Book Of Luke, a drama about the provocative hip hop group 2 Live Crew and its leader Luther Campbell, whose parody version of the Roy Orbison hit song Oh Pretty Woman went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before a landmark ruling favored Campbell and paved the way for fair use sampling for music judged to be parody.
Craig A. Williams is writing the script, which will be developed for up-and-coming actor RJ Cyler to play Campbell in the film. Cyler played Earl in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, and followed by playing the Blue Ranger in Lionsgate’s Power Rangers film, and more recently he plays a pivotal role in the Brad Pitt-starrer War Machine just released by Netflix. He’s currently filming White Boy Rick.
The Book of Luke is based on the memoir Book Of Luke: My Fight For Truth, Justice And Liberty City. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing with John Fischer overseeing the project for Temple Hill, and Mike Epps and Industry Entertainment exec producing. The film will tell a story that is Straight Outta Compton meets The People Vs. Larry Flynt, the rise of a provocative hip hop group and its envelope-pushing antics that got Campbell out of his poverty-stricken origins in Miami to become a millionaire and a galvanizing symbol of free speech.
As a kid, I vividly remember the hysteria surrounding 2 Live Crew. They were raunchy, unpredictable, and a breath of fresh air during the late 80s and early 90s. Although the group’s time in the limelight was somewhat short-lived, they are an integral part of hip-hop history in America. Their arrest for obscenity 27 years ago set the stage for a free speech battle that not only saw the group acquitted of their charges, but paved the way for a more common sense approach to obscenity in music.